Thomas gold and record in the 50m butterfly, Martinenghi silver in the breaststroke, and more satisfactions can come from today's races from the Azzurri competing in Fukuoka
In the year that comes after the consecration before the world (the gold medals in Budapest) and before the goal of a lifetime — the Paris Olympics, a va sans dire — our fishmen are not only not crushed by the difficult mix of expectations-need-to-confirm-management-of-popularity-collapse-of-motivations, but they remain high up on the podium undaunted, with one medal around the neck, ever more aware and mature (as much as one can be at 22 and 23), serious like Thomas or smiling like Tete, long-haired with a mustache from yesteryear or with a jewel in his teeth, the jewel of the pap goldsmith, sincerely friends.
They arrive on that podium from different paths:
now on a mission on behalf of the goddess of versatility (If I don't do many races now that I'm 22, when?), she takes gold in the 50 butterfly which he held dearly and which Italy had never won (22''68, Italian recordahead of the boisterous Portuguese Matos Ribeiro, 22''80, and the French Grousset, 22''82) 24 minutes after having swum (and finished first) the semifinal of the 100m backstroke, where today he will try to defend his title.
struggling with physical problems (knee) and motivations to look for, because extra commitments have grown (And he, good as he is, can't say no, but then he arrives dead, says his coach Marco Pedoja) and lacks a sparring partner to keep him on track in training, he takes to malice and strategy a silver three squares in the 100m breaststroke in 58''72 behind the elusive Chinese Qin (57''69) and sharing with the Dutch Kaminga and the American Fink who was angry black, too bad for him – laughs Tete -, I'm super happy.
Very different, yet very close, the best thing that I unrolled the medal while watching Thomas's race says Martinenghi: the strength of this national team is the self-stimulating group.
Here is an unidentified object that we must learn to handle: perhaps we have not yet understood how strong, because, like phenomena, it makes everything look easy. It's 20.22 in Japan when he comes out of the semifinal pool of the 100m backstroke, his race given that he holds the world record, which if it were for him he would have set aside to try to set the record in other disciplines, for example just dolphin. And it's 20.46 when he dives for the final of the 50 butterfly. The most difficult thing was to cross the Marine Messe hall in time and find a place to place the bed for physiotherapy between one race and another. He gave up the water workout to get rid of the lactic acid because there wasn't time, a risk for any normal person. He has restored the mustache of a year ago (Non sitouch) and on the podium he was as serious as if he wasn't the one responsible for the company. I tried to be composed, but I was happy and also excited, I wanted to make the moment last as long as possible, to enjoy it. And when I read my mother Gioia's message I was almost moved, I also compete not to disappoint my parents.
He, apart from watching David Goggins' YouTube videos, is an ultra marathon runner who is defined "the baddest man in the world" but as a boy he weighed 140 kg, a hymn to willpower, to stimulate himself he must put his natural talent to the test in many different challenges. I had never won the 50m butterfly because in the programs they are always close to the 100m backstroke, so I was almost keen on it, now I don't know how many more times I will do them. But a title a title. Today I will try to take second in the 100m backstroke, just as Tete will try the shot in the 50m breaststroke. You have to seize opportunities, even when you are not at your best, which is why for me this is silver that is worth gold. I've never been so tired in my life, today I'm patting myself on the back. In the semifinal I had aimed for the side lane, I wanted 7, because at home I always train in 7, 1 arrived for a cent. But I knew that, not being in super shape, I could play the surprise effect. Its been a difficult year, on the other hand many giants - from Caeleb Dressel to Adam Peaty - are not here, crushed by the weight of the effort. But the half year is coming to an end. From September we start again loaded with a view of Paris. To find the sparring partner to motivate me I will have to look in the mirror. The one who looks back at you is always the toughest opponent.
July 25, 2023 (change July 25, 2023 | 04:52)
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